IMI allows national, regional and local authorities to communicate quickly and easily with their counterparts in the EU Member States, as well as in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein being members of the European Economic Area (EEA).
IMI is a secure and multilingual online application that facilitates the exchange of information between the public authorities across the EEA. It helps to overcome administrative barriers in day-to-day administrative practice, such as different administrative and working cultures, dif-ferent languages and the lack of clearly identified partners in other Member States. As a mul-tilingual tool IMI helps to overcome linguistic barriers. A pre-translated set of standard ques-tions and answers allows the user to create information requests in own national language. Conversely, the responding authority sees the request in its own national language. In addi-tion, the IMI contains an automatic translation program.
Running since 2008, IMI links more than 7,800 public authorities and is available in all EU languages, without generating any extra IT costs for the Member States.
In Germany, the establishment of IMI constitutes a major challenge due to the federal structure, because many different authorities at federal, regional and municipal level must be in-volved. For the overview of the German IMI structure please click here.
The national IMI coordinator (NIMIC) for Germany works at the Federal Office of Administration. The NIMIC, as national helpdesk for content and organizational issues, assists the federal authorities and IMI coordinators of the different Bundesländer (federal states / regional level) in all matters related to IMI as well as by organizing training and information sessions. For the European Commission, the NIMIC is the central contact person for Germany who provides the Ländercoordinators (federal states coordinators) with information from the European Commission and forwards feedback, e.g. suggestions for improvement of the system, to the latter.
IMI was designed as a generic solution that can easily be adapted to support information ex-changes in different policy areas. In February 2008, IMI went first online and has since then been used as a tool to help competent authorities fulfil their obligations under:
On 4th December 2012 the IMI-Regulation (1024/2012/EU) entered into force. The regulation creates a comprehensive legal basis for the use of IMI and also paves the way for expansion of IMI to further regulatory areas. For example, from 2014 onwards, IMI is applied to a pilot in:
Future areas of administrative cooperation in IMI:
IMI is therefore a horizontal tool supporting 34 administrative cooperation procedures in 11 (in the future 13) policy areas and has a huge potential to grow steadily.
A large amount of detailed information on the Internal Market Information System is available on the IMI website of the European Commission.